On March 9, Romanian Christians celebrate Mucenici, the feast of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, Roman soldiers in the Legio XII Fulminata (Armed with Lightning) whose martyrdom in 320 for the Christian faith is recounted in traditional martyrologies. They were killed near the city of Sebaste (present-day Sivas in Turkey), in Lesser Armenia, victims of the persecutions of Roman emperor Licinius, who after 316, persecuted the Christians of the East. Supposedly the Martyrs drown in a pond near Sebaste. Some believe that afterwards flowers rose to the surface of the water.
It is a traditional holiday that coincides with the start of the agricultural year. It is the day you do your Spring cleaning in the house, and you are suppose to light fire to garbage collected from your home, to bring warmth outside. (if there were not some many fire department and Eu safety regulations to prohibit it these days...).
In Moldavian region, the delicious desert is made of baked dough, soaked in golden honey and sprinkled with chopped crunchy walnuts.
In the Muntenia and Northern Dobrogea regions of Romania, the dough is boiled in water with sugar, cinnamon and crushed nuts, symbolizing the lake where the Martyrs were cast.